The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Commodity Exchange, Tucci Goka Ivowi, has said managers working in different cultures and countries can only do so successfully through a deliberate effort to understand and adapt to different environments.
She said this in a conversation with Rev. Albert Ocran on Springboard, your Virtual University.
Shedding light on the dynamic nature of leading teams across varied cultural landscapes, Mrs Ivowi, who featured in the Engine Room series, underscored the importance of adaptability in the ever-evolving global business arena.
“Management styles should be adaptable, especially when working in different cultures.
Flexibility is key for effective leadership in diverse environments,” she said.
Mrs Ivowi shared her childhood dream of travelling and working in different countries and how this had become a reality.
Rev. Albert Ocran (right), with Tucci Goka Ivowi, CEO, Ghana Commodity Exchange
She attributed it to the potent force of visualisation.
"Working in different cultures is wonderful; it opens your eyes to different things.
When I was young, I conceptualised travelling around the world and working in different countries, and it happened.”
Speaking on ccommunication, which is one of her specialties, Mrs Ivowi intimated that it was not just about how you talked but also about making sure people really understood you.
"You may presume that you've communicated, but if others don't understand you, nothing is achieved," she said.
Speaking multiple languages is like having a secret weapon in the business world, according to Tucci.
Drawing from her experiences in Indonesia where she learned to make business presentations in Bahasa Indonesia, she stated, "It helps build connections and allows easy market penetration."
Language, according to her, then became a bridge, facilitating deeper understanding and smoother market entry in an interconnected world.
“Your interests and unique abilities are important and will define your career path.
Mrs Ivowi therefore urged parents, mentors, and influencers to guide young minds toward their natural interests.
"Encourage them to pursue the things they are naturally interested in," she advised.
She also touched on the high level of migration of young Ghanaians abroad and cautioned against the notion that the grass is always greener on the other side.
"Make the most of where you are; see the beauty and potential all around you," she advocated.
Mrs Ivowi further emphasised the importance of appreciating one's current circumstances.
She called on young people to embrace the richness of the present moment, rather than perpetually focusing on finding a better life seeking elsewhere.
She also highlighted the serendipitous nature of life's journey and recounted how what was meant to be a change encounter while on vacation turned into a life-changing career opportunity.
She said she had come home for holidays when she was given a brand by a business executive, Gaddy Laryea, to manage on a short-term basis.
She seized the opportunity with both hands and after making a success of it, ended up in Nestle where she worked for years in different roles.
"There is nothing like being at home in your own home," she reflected, urging people to value the unexpected moments that could potentially shape their lives.
She holds the view that compassion and firmness go hand in hand in leadership.
"I grew up writing letters to prisoners and defending the underdog," she shared.
This mix of kindness and strength, according to her, is key to leading effectively.
"I manage with firmness and insist on the right thing being done," she states, emphasizing the delicate balance between compassion and assertiveness in leadership.
Collaboration is another big lesson from her journey.
"We can solve problems better when we work together," she noted.
“It's like being part of a team – everyone brings something to the table, and together, you can tackle big challenges.
But it is important to be honest while tackling life’s challenges together,” she said.
Switching to her sector, she pointed to the vast potential in the agribusiness sector, calling it a gold mine of opportunities.
"There are tonnes of opportunities," she said, shedding light on the sector's extended value chain and various empowering interventions underway in the country.
She underscored the role of the Ghana Commodities Exchange in helping the farmer, buyer, and consumer to optimise their rewards and eliminate uncertainty.
She further invited young people and aspiring entrepreneurs to consider exploring the untapped potential in agribusiness.
Mrs Ivowi called on young people to dream big, adapt to change, communicate authentically, and embrace unexpected opportunities.
Her journey, she believed, resonated with every individual’s quest for a purposeful and impactful existence.
Springboard, your Virtual University, is a motivational and personal development broadcast that focuses on leadership, entrepreneurship, and career development.